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Last week seems like a year ago already as my house is full once again of Chickenpox.  Whereas this week I’m putting oats in bathtubs and letting the boys eat chocolate and cookie dough ice cream for dinner because of their sore little throats, last week I was sitting down for a gorgeous meal at the Harborside Restaurant in the Bell Rock Hotel at Europa-Park, Germany.  The restaurant could not have been themed more perfectly for me.  There were crabs, lobsters, and nautical decor everywhere I turned.  Brass lantern light fittings, seaside blue striped napkins…and we were dining outdoors, poolside.  So restful – and the buffet was to die for.  I finished with a crème brulée, sipped on an apple cocktail and when I reached the Hotel Colloseo afterwards, and literally fell asleep within seconds like my dad after Christmas dinner.

Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa Park Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa Park Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa Park Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa ParkAnyhow, for a change in the world of blogging, I was the minority sex on the press trip, and at the dinner table.  This hardly ever happens – and as three of us sat down to enjoy our dinner at the most beautiful Harbourside restaurant in the grounds of the Bell Rock Hotel in Europa-Park, instead of a stereotypical business chat, I gained a very interesting glimpse at the different world of men.  Ready for a couple of hours listening to football chat, our conversation instead avoided pitches and transfers – and centered around an upcoming wedding, the price of London property, water softeners, the best credit cards for air miles, middle age spread in men – and hair transplants, which is something I’ve never discussed before with ANY of my female friends.

Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa Park Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa ParkAnd that got me thinking, as I enjoyed my crème brulée, [which was absolutely the best I have ever had, anywhere].  I know that my own dad was VERY upset when he arrived home from work one evening to find that my mom had taken me and my sister to the hairdresser to have our very long hairs cut into pixie styles, cropped short to our heads [we were not good when it was time to have our knotty hair combed, and mom was at the end of her tether with the daily battle and so I can’t blame her].

As a mom myself, I adore my boys’ hair – treasure it even [and hold back tears when it’s time to have it cut], but before our meal that evening, I never really considered how men feel about their hair when they’re all grown up.  I love my own hair – I love that it’s long and I can do anything with it – and I take it for granted, twisting it up into mom-topknots and often don’t conditioner it for weeks.  Shower time is short with three boys.Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa Park Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa Park Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa Park Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa Park Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa Park Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa ParkFor men it’s pretty different – as a society, we seem to accept that thinning hair and baldness are a common and mainly male issue – and I never considered the loss that some men must feel when their hair begins to develop into the style of Prince William, as my dinner partner described it, or recede further than they’d like, in places they don’t want it to.  I’ve never considered it, probably because no man in my immediate family is suffering with this issue – my dad has thicker hair than I do, and Gavin has a luxuriously full head of hair AND a thick beard [one which ignites manly facial hair envy in his fellow beard growing workmates, haha].

I was even more interested to learn that my dinner companion had even seriously considered ways of recovering his lost tresses – he told me that there are apparently two ways to do this, with treatment and drug therapy or by transplant.  The transplant seemed to be his immediate choice and he’d been chatting to the people at Harley Street Hair Clinic to see how much a FUE Hair Transplant cost.  He’s deciding whether to go through with the transplant based on what it means to him in terms of self confidence – and whereas I remember laughing at male characters in sitcoms in the same situation, I actually feel quite awful now; but besides the feeling that I indirectly mocked someone very lovely, I started to wonder.

Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa Park Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa Park Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa Park I’ve never heard any man in my life or friendship circle asking his significant other if his hair [with some receding or baldness issue] looks okay – or if they’re less loved because they’re losing their hair, which I also realised generally comes around with age.  Yet as I’m aging, and after carrying and giving birth to three ten pound baby boys in the space of six years, I’m constantly worried I’m saggy/wrinkly/grey haired/whatever else I can think of that might be a flaw, and asking Gavin those exact questions. As if my appearance is part of my self worth.

Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa ParkSo what is it – are you staying silent, men?  Do you feel the same insecurities as so many of us women and just not vocalising them?  Do you worry about hair loss more than we realise? Although I’m not a fan of people being unhappy with their figure or face, I’d love to feel that somehow both sexes were on a more emotionally level playing field about our bodies as we age – maybe together we women could learn to or feel able to be as accepting as so many men appear to be about their own aging issues.

Perhaps our husbands and male partners consider the changing of our bodies as normal as we view male hair loss – and perhaps I should stop asking my own husband every day whether I look older or fatter.  Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. Haha.

Harborside Restaurant Bell Rock Hotel Europa Park

This is a collaborative post with Harley Street Hair Clinic.

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  1. I’m now craving creme brulee! I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation with my friends about hair loss either. I have a head full of hair and never think twice about some men losing their hair. I’m going to ask my husband his thoughts tonight during dinner.

    1. I think I just assumed that men took it in their stride – but that’s probably because it hasn’t affected anyone in my family at all. That crème brulée was just too good. I still dream about it, haha!

  2. I always find it quite fascinating joining in on a conversation with a group of men. Although I used to work in the tech industry so it was rather more geeky than that.

    My hubby is worried that he’ll go bald as his dad and granddad did, so at the moment his hair is getting far too long for my liking. He’s even taken to tying it back!

    I hope the pox leaves your house soon!

  3. This looks like an absolutely beautiful hotel! It’s funny to be in the company of exclusively men sometimes – that happens quite a bit in my profession actually. It can be a little eye opening.

  4. I have been in love with and collected lighthouses since I was a child. So I would love going here for that reason alone! Everything else would just be added bonuses!

  5. Beautiful photography. I went to Europa Park a very long time ago and it certainly looks different now. Beautiful looking restaurant.x

  6. These pictures are stunning – the resort looks divine!
    I actually know someone who has had a hair transplant and the confidence it gave him was amazing.
    I definitely take my thick hair for granted, even moan about it!

  7. Wow what a gorgeous place to visit, the hotel is stunning! I love the lighthouse too, you have captured it all so beautifully! I know one of our best friends lost his hair in his twenties and he massively struggled with it, infact so much so that he has tried a whole host of treatments to try and stimulate new hair growth, although nothing successful so far. I think men are far better at hiding their insecurities than we are, but they all have them nonetheless.

  8. It sounds like a perfect vacation especially in a place like that! It’s relaxing and it’s packed with good food, what more can you ask for, right? It’s definitely a place that I’d consider going to!

  9. Bell Rock Hotel sounds amazing and I love how it looks like a lighthouse! It’s awesome that you had a great time there, with good food and a good view. I think boys are easier to handle in terms of grooming, lol.

  10. The restaurant looks stunning and I want to try that Creme Brulee now that you have mentioned it. I had not heard of Europa Park before you mentioned it in the car on the way to Blog On but have been looking at the website – the Voletarium looks amazing. Glad the company was good and that the conversation steered away from football. My dad was devastated when he lost his hair and I know Hubby is very self-conscious about it too

  11. Your photos are beautiful, I didn’t know this place was so pretty. I can’t believe I’ve never been to Europa Park as we have friends who live nearby and we all love trips to Germany. Fascinating to hear about this hair loss discussion, so many things I’ve never thought about.

  12. Oh no, the chickenpox? I hope everyone is doing better now. Your pictures are amazing. I would definitely visit this restaurant. It looks so calm and peaceful.

  13. great, amazing, lovely photos! I would absolutely LOVE to go visit there some day very soon. It looks so charming and I love light houses! (I have to remember this place!) thanks!

  14. The Bell Rock Hotel at Europa-Park, Germany sounds and looks amazing. I would love to stay here and dine at the Harborside Restaurant. We hope to get to Germany some day. I love the topic of hair loss on both men and women. It is something people don’t talk about much. My hair has been thinning since I turned 40 which runs in my mothers family for both men and women. Thanks for sharing these amazing places and your thoughts on hair loss.

  15. Oh my god that looks a stunning place to visit; love the lighthouse! I really will add that to my travel to do list as it looks so amazing! Thank you so much for linking up to #HMCapturingMoments x

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